As a nation, our mental health has never been more important, and it’s essential that our students have access to the tools they need to navigate these issues. It’s become increasingly critical that we embrace and embed social and emotional learning (SEL) into our schools. When schools commit to fostering these skills in students, huge social and academic gains have become evident. Watch this video to learn more about these gains in schools across the country. 

But how do we do it in a way that doesn’t involve an overhaul on our current teaching structure? And, what resources are out there to help us, as educators, navigate this very important topic? Read on to learn about several resources that can support you in implementing SEL in your classroom – in ways that will serve to supplement the good work you are already doing.


CASEL, The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, is helping make evidence-based social and emotional learning an integral part of education from preschool through high school. They offer many free resources for educators that support this work.

Peace First 

Peace First is an organization dedicated to building future leaders who can solve problems by connecting with others with compassion, standing up for ideals and others with courage, and creating collaborative change. This is a resource worthy of getting to know better. While many of the free resources only address K-5, they currently have a bigger focus on supporting young people ages 13-25 to create a more compassionate, just and peaceful world by providing digital tools, community support, start-up funding and stories that celebrate their social change journeys and impact. Learn more about this mission here.

Second Step

Second Step is a comprehensive SEL program available for schools to purchase. But I found the free resources to be incredibly helpful! The link above will take you to the free resources that are available.

Kindness Curriculum

The Kindness Curriculum is inspired with the mission to make the world a kinder place. The free resources available are both practical and engaging, and these offerings are quite extensive. I especially appreciate these resources because they are inquiry-oriented with lots of opportunities to get students thinking.

Truth Be Told Quotes

Truth Be Told Quotes include activities that help teens process key social emotional learning concepts. Great for middle and high school classes, these SEL activities use quotes along with a variety of learning strategies to help teens understand social emotional learning topics including healthy decision making, reducing risk, communication skills, positive interpersonal relationships, self awareness, acceptance and inclusion, responsibility and more. Find full teaching notes and lesson ideas in the link.

Bottom line: SEL is essential. It helps students better understand and identify their emotions. It can help them develop empathy for others, increase self-control and manage stress in healthy ways. It also helps them build better relationships and interpersonal skills that will serve them beyond their time with us in the school setting, helping them prepare to succeed as adults. But students can’t develop these skills on their own. We must teach them – explicitly and intentionally. By embedding SEL into explicit instruction, practice and curriculum, we can help our youth better navigate the challenges they’ll face throughout their lives. And learning how to navigate this world in healthy and productive ways – isn’t that one of the best gifts we can give our students?

For more free educational resources simply follow this link.